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Cost of using MBTI


We have a requirement which we think MBTI may help us with, however I need to look into the cost. I was wondering if anyone could give me some guidance as to whether there is a cost associated with the number of questionnaires to be completed or is it purely the trainers time.
Allison Preece

12 Responses

  1. some facts…
    Hi Allison

    To use the official MBTI materials requires accreditation. OPP hold the European rights – training for accreditation at “Step 1” (basic) costs about £1500.

    Once accredited you can buy the Step 1 materials for just a few pounds each. Step 2 (needs extra training) is computer-based, costs about £30 per person, but delivers a written, detailed report that looks in to 5 further dimensions for each of the 4 main MBTI ones – very handy!

    The real value is in what you do with the questionnaire results, and how you do it.

    I got accredited in 1996 (Steps 1 & 2), and have been using MBTI ever since.

    There are other similar instruments out there, with varying degrees of reliability and rigour.

    It just depends on what outcomes you are looking for – MBTI is not a ‘magic bullet’ for personality issues!

    Best wishes,


  2. Other costs…
    The only thing wrong with the MBTI is assuming that it is a solution for anything at all. Firstly, most psychologists believe that it’s a poor profiling test – firstly because people generally don’t fit “profiles” consistently, secondly – MBTI shows massive fluctuations for an individual on a day-by-day basis (no consistency = flawed results), thirdly – it’s based on the findings of a housewife with no real psycho-analytical skills to speak of.

    Like the Rorshach test and many other psychological tools the MBTI is as scientific as taking a deck of cards, assigning a personality type to each card and then dealing the individual a card and assigning their “type” based on the deal.

    Despite this being common knowledge, people like personality tests, they like to be able to say “oh that’s so accurate” even though the type identified is so generic it could apply to anyone.

    No-one seriously suggests that the 12 signs of the zodiac can accurately predict someone’s personality so why on earth would the 16 MBTI types be any more relevant?

    The hidden cost of using these tests is labelling people who don’t need to be labeled and who could be far better analysed using tools with a level of scientific merit.

  3. MBTI is $ per use
    The MBTI is charged on a per person basis. It requires completion, plus debriefing by a certified MBTI administrator. I use an on-line provided (Psychometrics Canada) at a cost of ~$40 Cdn dollars per person. I am certified to administer it so my debriefing time is added to this. I only use the MBTI Step II format as it provides considerably more information than the Step I and is much more useful for the development needs it is geared to help with. The best way to determine if it is valid and will help with your needs is to talk to someone who is properly certified and has references as an ethical administrator.

  4. Scientific Merit?
    How disappointing to see such a posting – whether about MBTI or any other topic. I sometimes find myself wishing that life was so black and white – however it rarely seems to be!

    Nik – in accordance with the scientific principles that you say MBTI lacks, could you advise us on what research your assertion that “most psychologists believe that it’s a poor profiling test” is based? What was the size of the population surveyed? How was the sample drawn? What questions were they asked? What proportion answered in the way you indicate?

    Marting and Karen have provided some helpful information. Alison – Having used MBTI for the last fifteen years, and encountered both the benefits and pitfalls, I’d be happy to discuss it with you. Feel free to email me direct, and we can set up a telephone call.

    Regards – Janet George
    [email protected]

  5. Why not hire a Witch Doctor?

    It is unsurprising to find someone who makes her living selling these tests, springing to their defence.

    Unfortunately – the facts are simple surrounding the MBTI.

    It was developed by a housewife with no formal training.

    The results are not repeatable with a 95% level of accuracy (the scientific standard for proof).

    It’s value is therefore based on “but it’s uncannily accurate” just like tarot, clairvoyancy, horoscopes and other methods of “reading” people.

    By coming up with a fancy test to show “personality types” it does not give it any more grounding in fact than shuffling cards.

    While I would hate to think of charlatanism coming to an end – the world so desperately seems to need it and Dr. Gillian McKeith would starve to death – I don’t think it is the place of the corporate world to foster fairy tales.

    If you think I’m being unfair to the MBTI – you could always try and provide scientific evidence for its validity, but as there isn’t any it would be pretty hard to do.

    And anecdotal evidence is not enough I’m afraid.

    Kind Regards,


  6. Open mind v Closed judgement
    Real value can be obtained from using MBTI or other psychometrics as long as open minded faciliation and coaching skills are employed in the feedback process. Keeping an open mind and working with the individual to encourage self awareness provides the basis for them to progress and develop. MBTI is therefore as good as any other tool and has the advantage of bringing fous to some useful areas of an individual’s behaviour. Alternatively you could try having a closed mind, which is about as much use as finding your parachute is closed 30 seconds before hitting the ground.

  7. Any psychometric / diagnostic can only be chosen depending on th
    I see you’ve had a couple of helpful replies already – and a couple of unhelpful ones!
    You mention ‘a requirement which you think MBTI may help you with.’
    I am qualified in Level A and Level B psychometrics and yes, MBTI is a good and valid instrument. However, the instrument you choose to use should be based on what outcome you are searching for. Please feel free to contact me, free, at [email protected] and I’ll be pleased to discuss the options with you.
    Regards, Alan Wingrove

  8. Nik – Sources and References Please
    Nik, I don’t carry a torch for MBTI, but like you I have a need for some kind of ‘scientific standard’ though not in the way you have defined which I don’t recognise. Accordingly; can you provide me with references and sources for all these assertions:

    A) Firstly, most psychologists believe that it’s a poor profiling test –

    Where does this come, when was the opinion poll run and by whom and how many of the total population of psychologist did it cover?

    B) firstly because people generally don’t fit “profiles” consistently, secondly

    Where does the consistency issue get reported? What is the source material and how did the analysists arrive at this result?

    C) – MBTI shows massive fluctuations for an individual on a day-by-day basis (no consistency = flawed results),

    Where are these massive fluctuations reported and written up and and again how did they arrive at this result?

    I’m interested in reviewing the quantative and qualitative results that all this criticism must be derived from. I can’t find it on the net.

  9. You need print, too
    How nice to see that the MBTI has not lost its power to provoke debate. Interesting too to see that the word housewife can still be used to put a woman down. Isabel Myers should obviously have stayed in her kitchen then we wouldn’t need to be having this discussion.
    As well as the other costs people have mentioned – eg of actually getting the essential licensing training and of buying the questionnaire, you also need to factor in booklets. It is essential for participants to have something to take away to ponder. So if for instance you are building in coaching, it is v useful for the client to have print material to work from. Also, when you do a workshop, people like to have a quick guide to the Types of others present.
    OPP distribute the publisher, CPP’s US-originated materials (Introduction to Type.) My company Management Futures, distributes the British rival, written by me, 16 Personality Types at Work in Organizations. Like OPP we make every effort to keep the price down so that cost is not a barrier.
    OPP also sell some extremely useful sets of workshop materials with masses of suggestions for activities of all sorts.
    Don’t succumb to the temptation to use one of the ‘free’ internet versions of the questionnaire. Stick to the original. It now has over 70 years of research behind it and there are few psychometrics that can say as much.
    All the best

  10. Validity and Reliability
    For the sake of the person who asked the original question this is the data I have on the MBTI origins and validity:
    Isabel Briggs Myers obtained an honors degree in political science from Swarthmore. The MBTI was designed explicity to make it possible to test Jung’s theory of psychological type. There is significant research on the MBTI- completed over decades, with huge populations, far more than you find in other research projects. I obviously can’t list all the data on this forum, but to obtain accurate statistics based on the research, one can contact CPP, Psychometrics Canada etc…..
    I am not sure where Nik is obtaining his data from, but it is quite conflicted with the research and reliable sources of information. Perhaps he is simply trying to start an active discussion.

  11. MBTI
    As you will have gathered, to use the full MBTI psychometric requires an accredited practitioner as well as money.
    For a quicker and more enjoyable short cut you might try ‘Just my Type’ produced by HRDQ –
    It is not scientific nor highly reliable. But it can be interesting, and provide some useful insights and discussion if well facilitated.

    I am not MBTI accredited and have no axe to grind but I feel I must comment on what Nik has said. No psychometric is wholly consistent and accurate but MBTI is, in my experience, generally regarded as one of the better instruments. Used properly it requires careful individual review as part of the debriefing and analysis. (I wonder whether Nik has had a bad experience of it being misused). It is a long, long way from astrology.
    My beef with MBTI, and many other psychometric instruments, is not around statistical validity or reliability. It is about utility – evidence of usefulness and the impact on individuals, teams and organisations. I tend to favour the Margerison-McCann Profiles, especially with teams. It is no more and no less flawed than other similar products but I have found that it works for me and, more importantly, I have strong anecdotal evidence that helps teams improve not just be more aware of each others’ differences. Maybe someone can give me hard evidence of greater utility in other products. We shall see.
    If you are considering getting accreditation it might be worth considering this as an alternative to MBTI. For more info see
    Best of luck whichever route you choose.

  12. Not a psychometric or a test!
    To think you only asked for prices!!…….Just to add a bit of clarity, MBTI is not a psychometric or a test and as a qualified practitioner I would not be allowed to use these descriptions. It is in effect a preference type indicator that I have used with my colleagues successfully over the years in facilitating communication between people at all levels of our organisation.

    The profiling tool itself is more of a guide than the definitive result, hence the need for a qualified practitioner, and there is no right or wrong answers associated with it. It is also the most widely validated tool of its kind in the world and of the four dichotomies it measures Myers/Briggs were only responsible for one of these, the others were developed by Carl Jung.

    I am a natural cynic myself, and objectively weigh up the pros and cons of any tool that I administer, with the relevant audience. However I have learned over the years to check my facts before making statements to ensure I can guide but not rubbish another’s opinions or work.


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